Wednesday, February 17

It's the Season for California Cara-Cara Oranges

cara-cara oranges

When my mom and nieces arrived the other night from Rhode Island, I asked them what they wanted to do while they were in California. The 9-year-old said, "Buy California oranges for Daddy!"

Keep in mind that Jeff and I live within 15 minutes of the San Diego Zoo, Sea World, and some fantastic beaches. But, it was oranges they wanted, so oranges they got. Lots of them. We went to the Coronado farmers' market and bought freshly picked California navel, blood, and Cara-Cara oranges.

cara-cara orange

Cara-Cara oranges, which are at their peak in California right now, are refreshing, tangy, and juicy, sort of like a sweeter version of pink grapefruit. In fact because of their brilliant pinkish-orange flesh, they're often called "pink navels." They're delicious eaten out-of-hand, but I love them in winter salads, like this Frisee and Cara-Cara Orange Salad. The contrasting flavors of bitter frisee and sweet-tart Cara-Cara oranges are balanced with a lively mustard, orange juice, and sherry vinaigrette. 

Now that we've got the orange buying out of the way, we can finally go to the zoo. Let's hope they don't want to bring Daddy an elephant or a giraffe.

frisee and cara cara orange salad

Frisee and Cara-Cara Orange Salad
Serves 2
Print recipe only here.

1 medium head frisee
1 large Cara-Cara orange

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 teaspoon grainy mustard
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
several shakes of salt and black pepper

1. Wash, rinse, and pat dry the frisee. Using your hands, tear into small pieces.

2. Peel orange and slice into sections. Toss with frisee in a medium bowl.

3. Whisk all vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl. Pour over salad and toss. Serve.

You might also enjoy these winter salad recipes from Food Blogga:
Warm Barley and Fennel Salad
Apple, Fennel, and Celery Salad
Watercress, Avocado, and Orange Salad
Dandelion, Persimmon, and Medjool Date Salad
Wild Arugula and Blood Orange Salad with Prosciutto

Here are more winter salad recipes you might enjoy:
Carrot and Raisin Salad recipe at Homesick Texan
Roasted Root Vegetable and Wheat Berry Salad recipe at David Lebovitz
Winter Salad with Fennel, Pear, Orange, and Pecan recipe at The Passionate Cook
Winter Fruit Salad with Persimmons, Pears and Agave-Pomegranate Vinaigrette at Kalyn's Kitchen


Chris said...

Love these!! I just purchased a whole bunch!

Dawn (KitchenTravels) said...

Love the color of these oranges. Stunning photo at the top. Maybe your niece could bring home a little baby elephant? (toy, that is)

Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

As a Rhode Islander let me just say that I don't blame them for going to Florida this time of year, lol.

Karen said...

This looks like a really good and healthy salad - love that vinaigrette with the mustard in it! I'm sure the girls will find plenty of things to see in SD - what fun for you!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Nothing against the zoo, but I agree with your family. I'd go to the farmers market first! I've never tried Cara-Cara oranges, but they've got a catchy name, and look delicious!

Bellini Valli said...

These ornages are new to me but sure do sound amazing Susan:D

The Italian Dish said...

Gee, I just saw Cara Cara oranges in my grocery today in Michigan. I wasn't sure what they would be like. I guess I'll have to try them now!

GF Gidget said...

That dressing sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing!

Manggy said...

I don't think I'll encounter them any time soon, but I just popped in to say that I absolutely love oranges in salads - such a fresh, vibrant addition :)

sunita said...

We're on such an orange eating spree; love the colour of yours :-)

Cara said...

These might be my favorite oranges - if only for their name :)

glutenfreeforgood said...

I've never had Cara-Cara oranges, but this recipe of yours makes me want to seek them out. You sure are on top of the orange scene, Susan! I love learning about exotic (to me anyway) citrus fruits and know just the place to come!

Laurie said...

I've never heard of Cara-Cara oranges. Not sure they can be found on Cape Cod, but I'll be looking.

I've been using fruit, including lots of oranges, in my salad lately. Yum!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

That's so funny that oranges were at the top of the list. Someone's trained that girl well. I don't know that Cara-Cara oranges are available around here. I'll have to keep my eyes peeled....or come to San Diego.

Megan said...

I just discovered these oranges and love them. I'm going back for more! I made a salad with mine too and will have to try this version!

rohan said...

P R E T T Y the name thye've got to!

Tasty Eats At Home said...

I just discovered Cara-Cara oranges last year. These are delicious - and so is this salad!

Naomi said...

I have never heard of Cara-Cara oranges before I'm from Massachusetts and 2 weeks ago I was sick with the 24 hour bug and craved a juicy delicious orange and bought a bag of Cara _Cara thinking they were regular oranges. I like em, not as much as a normal orange but their not bad.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

chris-Yay! Enjoy!

dawn-She is actually bringing home a baby gorilla that she named "Frank." :)

lisa-It was snowing in RI, and they were giddy that they were wearing shorts in CA!

karen-It's so much fun for me. I love having them here.

TW-They're fabulous! I hope you try them soo.

val-They really are!

elaine-I definitely recommend buying some next time.

gf-You're welcome!

mark-That was nice of you!

sunita-That's a good thing!

cara- ha! :)

GFFG-I'm so happy to hear that. Come on over any time. :)

laurie-I know my mom has bought some in RI. So you might find them. Good luck!

lynn-Come to San Diego! We'd have such fun hanging out together. :)

megan-Aren't they wonderful in salads?

rohan-Thank you!

tastyeatsathome-Many thanks! So glad you discovered them too.

namoi-They're definitely tangier than navels.

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

we are big fans of Cara Cara oranges here in Toronto too and get so excited when it's that little window of availability! Love your pictures - so bright and fresh!

Cara said...

I'm another Cara who also loves Cara-Cara oranges! I first picked them up for the name alone, but they are definitely delicious! This salad looks like a great way to use them!

Sari said...

Oh, I love this salad, it looks so light and crisp.

The Teacher Cooks said...

I love a green salad with citrus fruits. Yours looks lovely. Cara-Cara. I like that name. Have fun with your nieces.

Gattina said...

Susan, that cara-cara+frisee is a million-dollar-shot!!! And of course, I adore how their taste sounds.
I see another future foodie-star (your niece) from your family :D

Pip said...

This salad looks so refreshing and oranges really delicious! In Italy we have oranges from Sicily, but in this time of the year when here in the north snows and it's really cold, I am a bit envious of your California temperatures! ;)

Chow and Chatter said...

smart girl these look amazing, and what a colorful salad

Victus said...

Sooo this has me very interested in heating healthy. Perhaps a spa-like diet is in my future. Thank you!

Hunter Angler Gardener Cook said...

Pretty salad. Big fan of frisee. Slugs ate all mine this year. I've been using cara caras a lot, too - like the juxtaposition between them and the inky blood oranges. Ain't California grand?